The JUUL Wave

In recent years, there has been an epidemic of new tobacco users among youth. One of the top e-cigarette brands known as JUUL are highly addictive and come in sleek designs made to attract young users. JUUL looks like a USB flash drive, and can be charged in the USB port of a computer.



Flavors Hook Kids?

  • E-cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco product among youth and come in over 15,000 different youth enticing flavors.
  • Some flavors are Cool Mint, Crème Brulee, Fruit Medley, Virginia Tobacco, Mango, Cool Cucumber, Classic Tobacco, and Classic Menthol.













The Harm of Nicotine and Other Ingredients


There is more nicotine in JUUL devices than other e-cigarette devices, with JUUL having absorbed nicotine levels closer to cigarettes than to other e-cigarette brands. The patent design of JUUL devices make this possible; JUUL uses nicotine salts as opposed to other brands that use liquids.

Nearly all e-cigarettes use solvents such as propylene glycol and glycerin as the carrier compounds in the aerosol. However, novel e-cigarettes are being developed that do not contain VG or PG, but contain nicotine base and a weak organic acid that forms a nicotine salt. These devices are patterned after technology described by Rose and colleagues (2008). One example is JUULTM by JUUL Labs. The nicotine salt, nicotine benzoate, likely forms when the device is activated and is delivered to the user in an aerosol form. Furthermore, Philip Morris Products S.A. recently developed a novel e-cigarette called P3L (Teichert et al., 2017). The device consists of a cartridge containing nicotine base and lactic acid in separate cavities. On activation and controlled heating, the nicotine salt (nicotine lactate) is released as an aerosol.
Various models of e-cigarettes, including JUUL devices, can contain harmful and potentially harmful ingredients, including:
  • ultra fine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
  • flavorants such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease
  • volatile organic compounds
  • heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead



Unknown Risks and Perceptions Among Youth

The brain keeps growing until around age 25. New memories mean new skills are learned, which means stronger connections (synapses) between brain cells. Young people build synapses faster or learn faster. Addiction is a form of learning, so youth get addicted more easily and quickly. Nicotine could also prime youth’s brains for other drugs, like cocaine.
There are also other potential health risks associated with the flavors.




JUUL sales currently represent 75% of the e-cigarette market share.
  • 25% of 15-24 year olds recognized JUUL
  • 10% had ever used a JUUL; 8% used in past 30 days
  • 25% of those who recognized JUUL referred to use of the device as “JUULing”
Today, more high school students use e-cigarettes than regular cigarettes. The use of e-cigarettes is higher among high school students than adults.


About 69% of middle and high school students were exposed to e-cigarette advertisements in retail stores, on the Internet, in magazines/newspapers, or on TV/movies. JUUL devices’ easy availability, alluring advertisements, various e-liquid flavors, and the belief that they’re safer than cigarettes have helped make them appealing in the youth demographic. A study of high school students found that one in four teens reported using e-cigarettes for dripping, a practice in which people produce and inhale vapors by placing e-liquid drops directly onto heated atomizer coils. Teens reported the following reasons for dripping: to create thicker vapor (63.5 percent), to improve flavors (38.7 percent), and to produce a stronger throat hit—a pleasurable feeling that the vapor creates when it causes the throat to contract (27.7 percent). More research is needed on the risks of this practice.

JUUL “wraps” or “skins” decals that wrap around the JUUL device and allow JUUL users to customize their device with unique colors and patterns (and may be an appealing way for younger users to disguise their device).


Social Media, Juul and Marketing

Check out this research about Social media marketing and Juul, focusing on how Juul became so popular.




How are youth buying e-cigarettes?

Those who “used in past 30 days” were asked how they bought or got the JUUL devices they had used over the past 30 days. Respondents could select multiple response options.
  • 74% reported a physical retail location
  • 52% reported social sources
  • 6% reported Internet
While Internet was not the most common point of access, 89% of youth who attempted to purchase online were successful.


What can Parents and Caregivers do?

Know the facts.
  • Get credible information about e-cigarettes and young people from the sources below.
Stay alert.
  • Know what media their children are viewing, and decide what programs and websites are appropriate for their age. Watch programs together and discuss content.
Be patient and ready to listen.
  • Avoid criticism and encourage an open dialogue.
  • Remember, your goal is to have a conversation, not to deliver a lecture.
  • It’s OK for your conversation to take place over time, in bits and pieces.
  • Talk to youth about why they shouldn’t use any tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
Be an example.
  • Set a positive example by being tobacco-free. For free help, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit
For more information, go to this parent and caregiver fact sheet.



Other Resources

Recursos en Español